A Guide to Wine Tasting on the Central California Coast
The Central California Coast, known for its rich agriculture and uncrowded Pacific coastline, is also brimming with dozens of world-renowned vineyards and unpretentious wineries.
Santa Maria Valley has all of this and more. Of course, you may know us for our unpresumptuous wines and our famous, finger-lickin’ barbecue, and we’re just fine with that, but we’re also the perfect home base for your next central California wine tasting trip. We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but we’re centrally located, so it’s easy to branch out to the surrounding wine regions for day trips and the like. After your long day of visiting central coast California wineries, come on back “home” to one of Santa Maria Valley’s hotels and kick your feet up. Plus, all you outdoor lovers will love our expansive list of bicycle routes, hiking trails, beaches and more. Jealous yet? After all, what’s not to love? Wine: good. Strawberries: good. Santa Maria Style Barbecue: gooooood.
Ditch your envy and come see for yourself. With so many choices, we’ve put together this handy guide to make planning your Central California wine tasting trip completely painless. All within driving distance from Santa Maria Valley, these wine regions helped give “California wine country” its name, and they’re in the best locations throughout California’s Central Coast. Whether they’re a day trip from Santa Maria Valley or a wine region that boasts similar characteristics and sass, you’ll wish you could add all these destinations to your list.
One of Central California wine country’s most beloved places, Monterey County offers a wide variety of wines for every type of connoisseur. Just two hours north of Santa Maria Valley, it’s a great place to visit for a day trip or even stop at on your way back down to Santa Maria Valley from some of the more northern regions. Top wineries in this county include Folktale Winery & Vineyards and Pierce Ranch Vineyards.
San Luis Obispo County:
Our neighbor to the north, San Luis Obispo County, shares similar wine varietals with us like Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay. In addition to these, this part of the state is known for Viognier, Merlot and Zinfandel. Take a one-hour adventure north from Santa Maria Valley and enjoy an afternoon at Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards and Wolff Vineyards wineries.
Santa Barbara County:
Now, for our favorite wine region: Santa Barbara County. We realize we may be a little biased, but with wines like ours, who wouldn’t be? After all, we are home to some of the best Central California wine tasting regions. Some of our top wineries (they’re all wine-rs in our heart) to visit while you’re here include Presqu’ile Winery, Riverbench Vineyard & Winery and Cottonwood Canyon Vineyard & Winery. Take in the beautiful outdoors and then sink your teeth into our delicious Santa Maria Style Barbecue. Plus, you don’t even need to take a day trip to get to us. With Santa Maria Valley as your home base, we’re at your fingertips while our wine is in yours.
For those who want to spread their wine-tasting wings a bit more, we’ve got your back. Though the regions that follow are a little farther away from us, they are well worth the drive after spending some time here. Once you’ve enjoyed Santa Maria Valley’s outdoor adventures, swirled and sipped at our wineries, carved time out for some craft brews and blessed your tastebuds with our world-famous Santa Maria Style BBQ, take the scenic route to these other Central Coast wine counties.